FORMER cash-in-transit guards have provided chilling insights into the sometimes bloody violence and death that accompany heists.
"You live with the constant fear of being killed, yet when you escape with your life you face harassment by your bosses and the police," one of them said.
The guards who spoke to Sowetan have been fired by one of the leading international security companies, SG4, on suspicion of having masterminded two seperate heists. They admitted that many robberies were inside jobs.
"It is true that some heist are inside jobs," one former guard said. "Guards are paid very little, which makes them vulnerable to crime.
"They easily get involved with criminals and carry out robberies. And they kill their own colleagues during these heists."
He said guards who were not in cahoots with the robbers were often the ones who were seriously wounded or died during the robberies.
But Tebogo Mofokeng, not his real name, and Habasisa Mallane maintain that they are innocent.
Mofokeng from Soweto was fired in January last year on suspicion that he tipped off robbers who ambushed a cash van he had loaded with R15million.
At the time he worked in the box room where the money was arranged and loaded onto the cash-in-transit vans.
He told Sowetan yesterday that in his case the heist was an inside job but he was not involved.
"Police and internal investigations revealed that a guard from the control room and some guards who were taking the money to FNB and Merchantile masterminded the heist. They were arrested and released on bail. The unfortunate part is that I was tortured and lost my job because of them," Mofokeng said.
Mofokeng is awaiting reinstatement after the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration found that he was unfairly dismissed. His case was concluded last month.
Mallane shared Mofokeng's sentiments.
He said there was no doubt that some heists were inside jobs.
"How else would the robbers know which route the cash in transit van would be using? he asked
Mallane said "guards are the first suspects whenever a heist happens and I have experienced it".
Mallane was allegedly tortured by investigators hired by his former employer in May last year.
This after he and his three colleagues misplaced a bag with R280000 in it while on their way to deposit it in variousATMs. He was suspended and later dismissed when he refused to take a polygraph test.
He said he believed that one of his team mates might have said it was him who took the money bag.